Yesterday we saw two interesting races. The comeback of Uncle Mo in the Bishop and the disappearing act of Coil, Ruler on Ice and Shackleford in the Travers. There is no doubt that Uncle Mo is an outstanding colt after that performance yesterday. He ran a strong race and just got caught by Caleb’s Posse. We should expect a big fall campaign from Uncle Mo. The Travers for me was a disappointment, not because Coil lost but it seemed the whole race was flat. I admit that I’m not convinced Stay Thirsty is “all that”. I still think of him as a “horse for courses” type only winning at Saratoga. What did surprise me was how the top three were totally no factors in that race. Since Hurricane Irene has shut down the east coast racing for the day, all eyes fall on Del Mar.
So today I will attempt to make sense of the $1,000,000 Del Mar Pacific Classic (G1), 3YO+ going a mile and quarter over the synthetic track. We have the rematch of Twirling Candy and Game On Dude, a top turf horse in Acclamation trying the synthetic again, some shippers and horses still trying to find their level. Let’s take a look ….
#9 Game On Dude ML 3/1 & #10 Twirling Candy ML 5/2: I’m putting them together for it’s a tossup. They’re G1 winners, excellent connections, top level Beyer’s, strong consistent workouts. They’re both fast and like to be at or near the front and wouldn’t be surprised to see a repeat of the Hollywood Gold Cup. In trying to find something, the only thing, and this is a stretch, is that Chantal Sutherland due to her suspensions, might be a bit out of the groove. Other than that, take the one you like and play it. Or pass and find the upset horse.
#5 Acclamation ML 5/1: This is an interesting situation. Here you have the premier turf horse going back to synthetic which he hasn’t done well on and switches to PVal (leaving Talamo in the Jockey room). You have to consider him for he knows how to win, has done okay on the Del Mar surface back in the day. He likes to lead, but this isn’t turf and will be interesting to see where Valenzuela rates him. Bottom line you can’t ignore a back to back G1 winner, including this distance regardless of track surface. If the ML holds anywhere near 5/1 would take him as the value play.
#2 Jeranimo ML 12/1: Has won at the G2 level last year and a second in the Read(G1). He is another turf specialist with a decent synthetic history(3 of 13 and 8 ITM) . Just not sure which horse will show up. Consistent Beyer’s and has been working out fine over the surface. Is a presser and could be there if the pace disintegrates. In the exotics for sure.
#6 Setsuko ML 8/1: This colt has left our hearts broken at the 8th pole how many times? He has been nibbling at the winners circle for sometime at all levels. He is closer and if all the speed in this race falls apart then it should be his day. Would like to see him have his break through race, can it be today or do watch him near miss again?
#1 Don Cavallo ML 8/1: Has won at the G3 level last out, Beyer’s increasing each race, a winner on synthetic at Woodbine. Attfield is one of the craftiest trainers around and brings Woodbines top jock, Contreras with him for this race. He can do the distance and can lead or rate off the pace. I would think he would let Twirling Candy and Game On Dude fight it out and take them out down the stretch. Like a lot of these types he is facing some tough horses today and will need a top effort, and he seems to be finding his form right now. A dangerous one.
Right now I see this race being between Twirling Candy and Game On Dude but then of late who knows, it has been a strange summer. It will be interesting to see how Acclamation handles the synthetic, can Setsuko finally win at this level or does Don Cavallo surprise us all?
9 - 10 - 5
I’ll be posting the selections for Balmoral Guaranteed $25,000 Pick 4 this evening. Last night the Pick 4 paid over $5500 and I got clobbered for the first time no finishers ugghh!. http://the-clocker.blogspot.com/
This race seems to have a perfect setup for Stately Victor, its on Polytrack, his preferred surface and its loaded with horses who race prominently in the early going. That last race at Woodbine Don Cavallo (who is rather intriguing in this spot and my second choice) received a more preferable pace setup which adversely impacted Stately Victor. Game On Dude doesn't have the best of posts or a great pace scenario but he is always there and really seems to appreciate 10 furlongs so he should be in the mix at the wire.
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